bob long receives award

Bob Long (center) receives the 2023 Arts Educator of the Year Award from St. Joseph Mayor John Josendale and Arts Council President Terri Modlin.

Two members of the faculty in the Department of Music at Missouri Western State University were honored at the 2023 Mayor’s Awards for the Arts from the Allied Arts Council in St. Joseph. 

Bob Long, assistant professor of music and director of jazz studies, received the 2023 Arts Educator of the Year Award as part of the Mayor’s Awards for the Arts from the Allied Arts Council. Long directs the Jazz Ensemble and assists with the Golden Griffons Marching Band. He was also instrumental in creating and continuing Instrumental Infusion, a hands-on collaborative program for 5th grade students in conjunction with the St. Joseph School District, Saint Joseph Symphony and MWSU. 

Long’s performance credits include the Kansas City Jazz Orchestra, the Kansas City Symphony and the Latin jazz group Ashanti. He has also backed up a variety of performers such as Bobby Shew, Clark Terry, Dick Oatts, Peter Erskine, John Pizzarelli, Marilyn Maye, Lou Rawls as well as Manhattan Transfer, The Temptations, The Four Tops and Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

kathleen holeman

Kathleen Holeman

Also honored with a Mayor’s Award was Kathleen Holeman, part-time voice and piano faculty member, who was named Artist of the Year. In addition to teaching at Missouri Western and in her private studio, Holeman has been a working jazz vocalist, pianist and trombonist locally and in Kansas City and the Ozarks areas for over 36 years. For the past several years, she has been the director of St. Joseph Big Band, which entertains area residents and visitors monthly. Holeman is a Missouri Western alum, receiving a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1990.

Missouri Western State University is a student-centered learning community preparing individuals for lives of excellence through applied learning. Missouri Western is located in St. Joseph, Mo., and is committed to the educational, economic, cultural and social development of the region it serves. Visit